Pitt County high school students take third place in app development contest

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GREENVILLE, North Carolina (May 7, 2021) – Three students from Pitt County Schools Early College High School developed an award-winning app in the state’s “Ready, Set, App!” contest.

Team “Ready, Set, Route!” placed third in the statewide competition. Their app serves as a communication tool for bus drivers, students, and school/county representatives. The developers included three twelfth-grade students:

Eleazar Yisrael has future plans of majoring in biomedical engineering in the fall. Since he was young, he always had a passion for trying to change the world for the better. He volunteers at nursing homes, his old day-care, and with a program called Teen Court.

Oscar Pereyda plans on becoming a Mechanical Engineer in the near future. His favorite drink is sweet tea and he loves to travel and try new foods.

Broderick Purvis is a hard-working coder who has assisted in the development of two apps that serves the community. In addition, he volunteers with kids and has a joy for helping others with math.

The group was led by advisor Laurel Currie, a mathematics and STEM teacher at Pitt County Schools Early College.

The "Ready, Set, Route!" app is described as a way for students or parents to indicate daily attendance which will then update and compute the best bus route for that day. Representatives of the educational transportation system will have instant access to the entirety of the transportation system including bus routes, individuals involved (specific students/bus drivers), and all buses' locations. Students and parents will have access to individual buses' locations and arrival times as well as two-way communication with the driver and school.

The contest is sponsored by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), a business-led, education non-profit within the Governor’s Office, in partnership with Lenovo. Each member of the winning teams received prizes provided by Lenovo.

“Developing an app takes teamwork, persistence and knowledge of technology, all skills that can serve students well in school and in their future careers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Congratulations to these Ready, Set, App! winning students for coming up with ingenious solutions to real-world problems.”

Ready, Set, App! challenges high school students across North Carolina to develop a mobile app to solve a problem in their school or community. Each team includes 3-5 students and an educator who serves as their advisor. In addition, each team receives support from a Ready, Set, App! student mentor, who is skilled in coding, to assist the team throughout the app development process.

“As a global technology company with headquarters here in North Carolina, Lenovo is committed, long-term, to investing in STEM education in our state,” said Libby Richards, community engagement manager at Lenovo. “Through programs like Ready, Set, App! we hope to inspire students to become problem solvers in their community – using technology to make a difference.”

The first-place award went to “Team Pantry Patrol” from Enloe High School in Wake County. Their app helps to simplify daily operations at food banks. Second place went to “Team Go Compost” with students from NC School of Science and Math, East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill High School and Smith Middle School in Durham and Orange counties. They developed an app to cut down on food waste.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s competition was held in a virtual format and teams worked together remotely. Despite these challenges, students delivered projects with the potential to impact their communities and beyond. In the program’s second year, 47 teams from across the stated registered and worked on development from October to March. Six finalists were selected by a panel of 35 Lenovo employees and community members. These teams participated in a virtual pitch competition on April 17, answering questions from business leaders, IT professionals, and educators.

The competition, open to all North Carolina high school students, will be held again in 2022, with a kickoff event planned for the fall. For more information regarding the Ready, Set, App! Competition, click here.